Divorce and liquidation of the matrimonial property

International divorce proceedings entail the liquidation of the matrimonial property, which allows the division of property acquired before or during the marriage. If an agreement can be quickly reached, in some cases, where the spouses are in conflict, the judge must intervene. That is especially the case when a divorce has an international element to it. 

What is the liquidation of the matrimonial property ?

The pronouncement of an international divorce is followed by the liquidation of the matrimonial property. The goal of this specific procedure is to evaluate all of the community assets and to distribute them evenly between the spouses. 

Division of property can take place before the divorce, during the divorce proceedings, or even after the divorce. In the case of a divorce by mutual consent, however, the procedure must necessarily take place before the divorce proceedings. 

In France, a legal principle of rewards must apply in order to restore the balance between common assets and private property. This reward can be due by the community to one of the spouses, or by one of the spouses to the community. 

What steps should be taken?

How property will be divided depends on where the international property is located and its nature. Usually, real estate is governed by the law where the property is located. Personal property (bank accounts, stocks, furniture, artwork, etc.) is governed by the law of the owner’s residence.

If the parties cannot find a middle ground, the family court judge will have to be seized to proceed with the distribution of property. 

In the case of an international divorce, it is highly recommended to consult an international divorce lawyer to make sure the division of property is fair and equitable and each party can be heard. 

Divorce by mutual consent and the simplified division of the matrimonial property

In France, divorce by mutual consent has been simplified by a 2019 law. From now on, the presence of a judge is no longer mandatory. 

Therefore, the spouses settle the terms of their divorce with the help of their lawyers, while the notary takes care, if applicable, of dividing the matrimonial real property. If the spouses agree on a settlement, division of the matrimonial property is officially recorded. As a result, the procedure can be quick. However, if it appears that reaching an amicable solution is not possible, the family judge will have to rule on the division of property.  

How can an international divorce lawyer assist me?

The laws regarding divorce, property division and child custody differ from country to country, which can make international divorces difficult. If you married in a foreign country, if one or both of you live overseas, if your spouse is of foreign origin, or if you own property in another country, you might need an international divorce attorney.  

International divorce can be complex. Therefore, you should not hesitate to take advice from an international divorce lawyer to get customized advice and guidance. Before the judge in charge of making the division of property or deciding on a child custody, your lawyer will be responsible for defending your interests.

Consulting an international divorce attorney will allow you to deal with this ordeal more serenely. Not only will they be able to inform you about the consequences of the divorce, they will also offer you advice on your specific situation, whether it’s compensatory benefits, visitation, child support, etc.